Jules Bianchi begins rehabilitation therapy in France, still unconscious

The crash of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was likely the greatest tragedy of the 2014 Formula One season. During the rainy, Japanese Grand Prix, Bianchi collided with a crane that was carrying a stricken car away. He suffered a serious head injury that left him in a drug-induced coma for weeks in a Japanese hospital. Bianchi's condition keeps showing signs of improvement, though.

In November, Bianchi was taken out of the coma and moved to the intensive care unit at a hospital in France. Although he was still unconscious, he could breath on his own. In the latest update from Bianchi's family, it appears that there's even more tentatively good news about the driver. He is no longer in the ICU and now rests in a "rehabilitation centre for this kind of trauma," according to the letter.

Bianchi still is not conscious but is beginning "the planned, but very painstaking, programme of rehabilitation therapy," according to his family. While this is good news, the driver's neurological condition remains the same.

A recent FIA report on the crash laid much of the blame on Bianchi. The investigation claimed that he didn't slow down for the double yellow flags that warned of the crane and collided with it at 78 miles per hour. The analysis concluded that a closed cockpit would not have been enough to keep Bianchi from being hurt.

Read below for the entire letter from Bianchi's family with the latest update to his condition.
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A Statement from the Bianchi Family | 30 December 2014
Nice, France

The parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, would like to provide the following update regarding Jules' medical situation:

"As we reach the conclusion of a difficult year for our family, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a further update regarding Jules' medical situation, per our pledge to communicate continued information, when appropriate, to his many fans.

"It was a significant and very comforting step for us to be able to bring Jules home to France last month, to continue his rehabilitation surrounded by his family and friends. This is very important for Jules and also for us.

"Since that time, Jules has received the very best treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU) and now at the CHU's rehabilitation centre for this kind of trauma.

"Jules' neurological status remains unchanged; he is unconscious but able to breathe unaided. Whilst there is no significant information to report, we take a great deal of comfort from the fact that Jules continues to fight, as we knew he would, and this has enabled the medical professionals caring for him to commence the planned, but very painstaking, programme of rehabilitation therapy.

"As we reflect on the events of the past few months, we would like to acknowledge once again the overwhelming warmth and affection shown towards our son. These continue to be challenging times for our family, but the knowledge that he has touched the lives of so many people all around the world has helped us through.

"We would also like to acknowledge the respect and support shown by the media towards our family during this time, for which we are extremely grateful.

"We will continue to provide information when it is possible to do so and our sincere appreciation to everyone who continues to pray for Jules."


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